Floral Applique Quilt, Emeline Travis Ludington (1820–1887), Cotton, American

Floral Applique Quilt

Emeline Travis Ludington (1820–1887)
ca. 1850
Made in Putnam County, Carmel, New York, United States
86 x 98 in. (218.4 x 248.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, William Cullen Bryant Fellows Gifts, 2008

Accession Number:
Not on view
In the mid-nineteenth century, at the time this outstanding quilt was made in Carmel, New York, a town about fifty miles north of New York City, the florid and intricate Rococo Revival Style was in full bloom. The grapevines and appliquéd flowers entwined into wreaths stiched onto the surface are reminiscent of the decoration found carved into the rich rosewood backs of high-style New York furniture of the same era. While many bed quilts are quite modest objects meant for everyday use, this one would have been considered stylish and sophisticated when it was created. Its exceptionally good condition reinforces the notion that it was meant to be a "best" quilt, taken out only on special occasions to beautify its maker's home.
Emeline Travis Ludington had an ambitious artistic vision for her quilt, laying out and stiching a stunning overall design and adding an unusual scalloped finishing detail to the edges. Ludington was married to a banker, George, and was the mother of six children. Her quilt-making skill is undocumented beyond this piece.
This quilt was made by Emeline Travis Ludington (1820-1887) in about 1850. She passed it down to her first-born daughter, Emily Ludington Chadwick (1850-1926), who in turn passed it down to her daughter Elsie M. Chadwick (1880-1960). From there it descended to her niece, Ethel Constance Chadwick Galin, the vendor.